Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 83: Art Car extraodinaire

 I was at a stoplight in front of this art car. Unfortunately, I could only snap a picture once he had passed me and not from the rear view mirror. This eclectic car was amazing not only in it's exterior, but even more so because it was blaring music and the driver had his left hand on the wheel and his right hand in a large monkey puppet. The puppet appeared to be singing and dancing all around the front seat of the car in time to the music. It was quite an interesting site (though I admit, I was happy to let the vehicle pass as puppeting a monkey and driving don't seem to go very well together!) Ah, Portland!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 82: Moss on the bridge

Another rainy day today! Even though many leaves have fallen and winter is settling in, there are still green patches around the city. Grass and moss thrives in this rainy weather!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 81: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It has been the tradition in my family to choose and decorate the annual Christmas tree in the weekend after Thanksgiving. After cutting the perfect tree (see previous post) we spent the evening decorating it.  I feel so happy every time I go into the living room now!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 80: Loch Lolly Christmas Forest

Many of the Christmas trees around the country come from Oregon! Who knew?  There are so many local "cut your own" Christmas tree farms (and of course commercial tree farms as well). We went out into the country to find Loch Lolly Christmas Tree Farm and on our way saw signs for at least three other "cut your own" farms. It was great fun and we sawed through this poor little tree to bring it home for our Christmas viewing pleasure. It was a fun outting!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 78: Sunset at the Chinese Garden

I happened to be at the Portland Chinese Garden: Lan Su Chinese Garden this evening as the sun was setting. There was, momentarily a lovely pink stripe across the sky, which reflected in the water. I love the light from the sky and the lights from the pavilion. A beautiful, though chilly, evening!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 77: Feed the Birds

This sweet little guy was delighted to be handed a yummy treat amidst all the snow.  He took it right out of my hand!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 76: Snow near Mt.Hood

We spent some of this holiday weekend up near Mount Hood - an 11,000ft peak that can be seen from most parts of Portland and the surrounding areas. Though there is snow on the peak for much of the year, it has started actively snowing in the area around Mount Hood. Drivers are encouraged to bring their snow tires or chains when driving in the area. Although the day we went up, the roads were clear - there was evidence that winter is coming.

What a beautiful mountain!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 75: Gobble Gobble

An inflatable turkey near our home. I am not sure why these are popular, but I saw several of them this year. Gobble gobble.....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 74: Frozen puppy footprint

We found this sweet puppy footprint frozen into the mud on our hike this past weekend. It was preserved just perfectly!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 72: Smith Rock

Another hike from this weekend led us to Smith Rock - a beautiful state park in Oregon and one very popular with rock climbers - with many routes for all levels of climbers. This park is located in the high desert of central Oregon. Though we did not climb today, we did hike about 5 miles around (and over .. pant pant pant....) this incredible rock formation. We could not have asked for more perfect weather!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 71: A Sign of Winter

Winter is showing it's beautiful, though chilly, face in  the high desert and mountains of Oregon! We awoke to some ice and light snow this morning. The sun was shining and the air was crisp and cold. And the day whispered "Winter is Coming..."

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day 70: Rays of sun over the river

My husband and I took a weekend trip to Bend, Oregon.  Since it is East over the mountains from Portland, we actually had some sunshine!! You can see the rays of sun showering over this peaceful river. We hiked about 10 miles on the banks of this river (the Deschutes River) and it was just beautiful. The rocks you see scattered throughout the water are volcanic rocks - there were several "lava islands" throughout the water from eruptions many thousands of years ago. Really wonderful!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 69: Temple of Fall

I love the Portland Japanese Gardens (said to be one of the best outside of Japan) and try to get there at least monthly. Today the garden was full with signs of fall. I love this small temple on the side of a pond covered with moss and colorful fall leaves!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 68: It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

What a GORGEOUS day it was today. No fog. No gray. No rain. Just cold sunshine. It was crisp and beautiful and just like fall should be (if you were somewhere other than the Pacific North West! ha!!).  I got the best view of Mount Hood I have had the entire time I have been here. In the summer there were forest fires out East and the view was hazy. Lately, there has been tons of rain. But today - wow, oh wow! What a view. You can see the mountain int he background with downtown Portland in the foreground.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 67: Fall on a country town

Doesn't this look like a quaint country road? One thing I just can't get over is how magically you can pass from a city feel to a country feel - all within the city of Portland. this curve, just minutes from where we live in west Portland could be any beautiful country road.  I also love the evergreens next to  the beautiful fall colors.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 66: Draw Bridge Thuroghfare

I drive this bridge at least twice a day - often more - and though I have known it is a drawbridge, I have never been on route and stopped while it was raised. In fact, just a few days ago I was thinking how interesting it was that this had never happened (as I drive it many different times of day depending on my schedule). Well, what do you know! This morning on my way to work, I joined these other vehicles on the bridge while we waited for the ship to pass through.

In some ways, it is pretty amazing to me that THIS particular bridge is a draw bridge, as this Burnside Street - one of the major thuroughfares that stretches from far East Portland to far West Portland. It is always full of car and bike activity.  Once the bridge was lowered, cars, bikes and pedestrians poured across it. I wish I could have made a video of all the bikers!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 65: Manicured Trees

For some reason this style of tree is very popular in Portland. Many people prune their shrubs and trees in ornamental designs. I particularly enjoyed this row manicured in this way. They are like leafy clouds hovering close to the ground.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 64: On Ramps

Many, if not most, of the freeway on-ramps around Portland have these stoplights. They are generally running only during high traffic times of the day. The on ramp forms two lanes and the lights alternate, one car at a time, letting cars enter the highway. There is a short (2 second maybe) pause between cars. This does help traffic a little bit. However, I still think Portland traffic is surprisingly horrible for such a small city!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 63: A Swingin' Evening

We went to The Secret Society (which, is not actually so secret, but rather a really fun hall/bar with live music) tonight and had a great time listening to and dancing to the music of this band - Everything's Jake. They had a wonderful sound with  music from the 1920s through the 1940s. It was a swingin' evening!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 62: The Woman At the Well

While walking through a beautiful cemetery in the West Side of Portland, I came across this beautiful statuary - an unusual choice, perhaps, for it's placement. It depicts the Biblical story of Jesus asking for water from the woman at the well. I found it really beautiful - especially with this beautiful sky as the backdrop.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 61: You Think?

Oregon Public Broadcasting (National Public Radio) ad on the back of a biodiesel city bus. Now, if THAT's not Portland......

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 60: A Clear Day Over Portland

It was an unusually clear and crisp day today. On a walk, I came across this gorgeous view of the sky and city. How amazing that you can get views like this from within city limits!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 59: Election Day!

I had to take a photo of my co-worker's socks today - isn't that fun? Portland is overwhelmingly full of democrats, though I did see a fair number of Romney signs over the course of this election. Voting is by mail, so each registered voter receives a voter packet (with information on every candidate and issue up for vote) and then a ballot via mail. You can either mail your ballot back in or drop it in one of the many "drop boxes" (in libraries and such) around the state.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 58: Flower Power

What a very beautiful day we had today. It has been fully autumn for the last couple weeks, but today warmed up and the sun shone though. And despite the fact that many trees are dropping their leaves and becoming bear. Those dedicated gardeners around town still manage to hold on to a few gorgeous flowers. I just can't believe this one. The bright colors mirror the sunshine of the day. A happy day!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 57: Sitar player in the Governor Hotel

We went to a fundraiser last night for to raise money for SAWERA - an organization that helps women (from South Asia, living in the Portland area) who are victims of domestic violence. The event was held at the Governor Hotel - a beautiful historic hotel on the west side of downtown Portland.  Here a sitar player performs on the stage in the Heritage Ballroom during the silent auction.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 56: Spider web

There is evidence of our daily rains on this beautiful spiderweb with a muted background of fall colors.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 55: Bottles of Sake on the Wall...

I stole my husband away from work for his lunchbreak today and we went to Syun Izakaya - a very quaint Japanese restaurant in downtown Hillsboro to grab a bite to eat. The restaurant really had a comfortable Japanese feeling to it and the decorations were wonderful.  This ledge, running around the edge of the room held many different, empty, sake bottles. It was simple and beautiful.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 54: Return to the Earth

I love this mural - plowing up the concrete to make room for the earth. I wish there was more of this actually going on. But, I will say that Portland seems to have more people with some sort of garden in their yard (large or small) than any other place I have lived). There is still a great deal of concrete in this place, but the earth is valued highly here, for a city.  I also love the bike on the left and the cars (being plowed away?) on the right.  This mural gets two thumbs up from me!